Year: 2018

Working Paper Number: 418

Unit: FaSRU

Author: Rianne Mahon


The literature on social policy – or, more broadly, welfare regimes – has long been fixated on the global North (especially Western Europe). Growing awareness of the importance of ‘emerging’, middle-income countries, global initiatives like the social protection floor and important policy innovations, such as Brazil and Mexico’s conditional cash transfers (CCTs), are beginning to draw attention to social policy in Asia, Latin America and Africa. The burgeoning literatures on Southern social policies make clear the need to rethink certain core concepts, such as decommodification and defamilialisation, while adding new concepts like declientelisation. They also raise questions about the methodological nationalism that is deeply embedded in the traditional welfare regime approach, which was designed for cross-national comparisons.